2016 Goals

2016 Goals

If I didn’t know that it really was, I would have a hard time believing that it is the middle of January 2016 already. 2015 was a great year, so great, that I was not quite ready to say goodbye to it. Off the top of my head, nothing big stands out about 2015, but I can tell you that I was happy and life was good. The last few years have been full of transition so it was nice to be able to just be present and grounded for a little while. (This will change next year, we are moving houses to finish out this tour and then we are moving again in 2017. We should know where around this time next year.)

I spent the first few days of the new year sick as a dog. I actually slept through Saturday. When I woke up and felt human again I was ready to do some reflection, long term planning, and goal setting for the new year. I am a big fan of Laura Casey’s Powersheets and used them again this year. It takes a few days to get through them all (I just did it 6 months previously, so for full disclosure I glossed over a few parts) and when you are finished, it feels like you have a clear vision of what you want out of the next year. It’s a good feeling.


Scaling back. I have taken on more projects with brands and people that I admire and said no to ones that don’t fit my brand or vision. It freed me up to work on personal projects and spend more time here in this space.

Merging my websites. I wish that I did this from the get go. It was an expensive mistake, but I learned a lot from it and now know that I’m heading in the right direction. It feels like home, and I so happy with how everything turned out.

Pulling my ads. I feel like I took back ownership of my blog and I enjoy spending time here again. The user experience is so much better and I don’t get annoyed to actually use my own website.

My Friday Happy Mail. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I have gotten from sending this email every week. The connection I’ve made with readers, the friendships, and the insight that have come from it have been nothing short of amazing.

There are times when my job and growing my business are the priority and there are other times when Wes’s career is the priority. Right now, it is his turn and I am happy to be the one that is stepping back for a bit. Our kids really need us around right now, I feel that even though they are older, we need to be more present and available. (They just don’t tell you exactly that is what they need, you have to guess.) I’ve cut back on a lot of travel and taking on projects that don’t fit into our lives right now.

Shooting for myself and learning to shoot and edit video. I remember why I picked up a camera in the first place. Learning video is the most fun, and I absolutely love being able to create little movies that my children will have forever.


I work from home, have an online business, and am alone for a large chunk of the week. It can be lonely and make it hard to stay motivated. I need to get out more and meet more people. I need adult interaction. (I’m writing this from a coffee shop, I’m trying.)

Pulling ads was the right move, but I did lose a source of consistent income. I need to make that up somehow, I just haven’t figured out what exactly I’m going to do. I love teaching, and that is most likely the direction I will go. The subject matter – TBD.

I will always be glad that I became a holistic nutritionist. I learned so much about food and healing yourself with nutrients. I’m not sure if I will ever do anything with my certification,

Eating out, eating crap, and not paying attention to what I’ve been putting in my (and my family’s) mouth. I think I sustained myself entirely on cookies during the month of December. Enough is enough, I don’t feel great, I’m tired all the time, and it is not working for me. In some ways I think that I learned so much about food in school that it freaked me out. I threw my hands up and didn’t even bother anymore.

Spending money on things that I don’t need. I think that this is mainly boredom and Amazon Prime. We live in a fairly remote place so I have found that I am becoming a bit of a late night online shopper.

Not planning blog content. I’m terrible about looking ahead, I’m always working in the moment. By the time I get Valentine’s Day ready to go, I’ve almost missed the window. I need to plan out content more and be mindful of what is coming up in the calendar.

teavana wellness teas

// 2016 GOALS //


Shoot more. Very few things make me happier than taking pictures. For awhile I associated taking pictures with work, and some of the joy was gone. I am making it a priority to bring my camera with me and take pictures just for me.

Video. How I love video. The learning curve has been steep, but shooting and editing video is so rewarding for me. I love the time spent doing both. I cherish the little films that I’ve made and want to make many, many more.

My word for the year is THOUGHTFUL. I want to be a better friend, wife, mother. I want to remember birthdays, write thank you notes, and give more than I take from my relationships.

I will be 40 in a few months and I would like to start this new decade healthier than when I left it. I want to clean up my diet, move more, take care of my skin, and treat my body well. Be healthy in body and mind.


Plan content instead of “fly by the seat of my pants”. Create an editorial calendar, and ACTUALLY write about the things that I put on it.

Create one family video per month.

Create one personal video per month.

Finish all of the courses that I have started. I’m an e-Learning junkie and I’m not so awesome at finishing a self-paced course. I will finish them all.

Post 3 times a week.

Continue to grow the photography side of my business.

Create an online course or mentoring package for photographers and bloggers.


Learn how to use Lightroom. I’m way behind on this one, but I’m going to give it the ol’ college try.

Learn to use an external flash. I am terrible at this, and want to be comfortable shooting in any lighting situation. I need to embrace the flash.

Go beyond the basics in Final Cut Pro. I am barely scratching the surface right now.


– Create editorial calendar for Baked Bree

– Create one family video

– Create one personal video

– Finish The Inside Story (this is a GREAT course, BTW.)

– Eat at home 5 nights a week

– Less sugar, less caffeine, and less processed foods

– Website maintenance – update pages, sidebar widgets, and complete a few random things from the redesign.

– Bake 3 things for NEXT Christmas and Valentine’s Day.

– Finish 1/2 of December Daily

As I am writing this, it is the middle of the month, and I am on track to cross these items off of my list. I started the new year with a clean system and I have managed to cut back significantly on caffeine. I am embarrassed to tell you how much Diet Coke and coffee I was drinking. When I decided to cut back on sugar and processed foods, it eliminated my beloved coffee creamer. After the first few days I didn’t even miss it. Instead of my afternoon cup of coffee, I’ve been having a pot of tea. I haven’t cut out Diet Coke completely, but I have cut waaaay down. It’s a start. Little changes, slowly, are what work for me.

I am on week two of eating super clean and I feel amazing. I skipped a lot of the detox because I slept through it, and I began to crave vegetables and salads more than cake. But when I do have a craving for something, I indulge it. I NEEDED a chocolate chip cookie and instead of eating a crappy one, I went to a bakery in town and had one perfect cookie. It was exactly what I wanted, and I was satisfied after three bites. I’ve also been cooking at home a lot and not only do we eat better, I like being at home after a busy day.

I am never going to be one of those people that eats perfectly all the time. I think that is just as unhealthy as eating like garbage. I love sweets, and if you haven’t noticed – I’m a baker. I love to bake. Sugar has a place in my life. My relationship with it needs to change. I need to counter the cake and carbs with some protein to balance it all out. It’s all good.

What are your goals for 2016? How do you plan your year? What’s working or not working for you? I’d love to know in the comments.


Oh hey there!

Well, hello there! I’m Bree Hester, the Boston-based blogger and food photographer here at Baked Bree. Here you can get lots of weeknight meal inspiration, eat more plant-based meals, and still indulge in a decadent sweet treat. Baked Bree is a place where you will find great recipes and inspiration for your next family adventure.

raspberry orange pistachio ricotta cake slices on a wire rack

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This Post Has 17 Comments

  1. Aggie @ Aggie's Kitchen

    Getting out of the house and working on an editorial calendar of some sort for the blog are both things I can relate to and need to do for myself. I bought those power sheets and never worked on them last year, boo. I probably should take them with me to work on at Panera power session, I do get more work done when I’m out of the house. Here’s to a great 2016 Bree!

    1. bakedbree

      Same! I need to leave the house to get that kind of stuff done. I take myself out on a date to work on my Powersheets. They really helped me last year. Happy ’16 Agatha!

  2. Jeanne

    Hi Bree. Happy 2016. Thank you for this honest and heartfelt post. Oh my gosh I am laughing with you on so many points you mentioned… Finishing the online courses and the cookies oh my gosh, the Christmas cookies. I’m surprised I haven’t turned into one myself by now. I think by you writing down your goals and even sharing them so publicly is a great way to help you achieve them. Your post has inspired me to sit down and really start planning my 2016! Thank you!!

    1. bakedbree

      The cookies were a problem. 🙂 Publicly putting my goals out there really does hold me accountable. They might change or I might decide that some are no longer important, but posting them for all to see made me more accountable last year. It really helped. Happy planning!

  3. PamS

    I am binge reading your posts today and you have inspired me in so many ways. I have been trying to stream line my New Year’s goal into one word for the past 16 days – I thought of it this morning after reading your post. I want to be more AWARE, more aware of my thoughts, my words, my body, and my family. Thanks for the inspiration!

    One more thought, your blog is more pleasant without all the pop up adds! I have almost eliminated all blogs from my reading list that have pop up adds. I really don’t mind the sponsors on the sides but pop-ups really annoy me. I wish you all could figure out a way to have subscribed blogs kind of like iTunes does with music. I think bloggers are selling themselves short by writing and not getting paid.

    1. bakedbree

      That’s a good word for the year.

      Do you mean a service like Feedly? It is how I keep track of my blog reading. And I agree about the pop ups. They are annoying.

      1. PamS

        I guess something with a service like Feedly to which one could subscribe. You know like Pandora – free if you are okay with the adds or subscribe without the adds. I actually read your blog in Feedly but often go your website to read the full post. I just wish there was way to for all the bloggers to make money other than having pop up adds. I no longer buy magazines because of all the blogs, Pinterest, and Houzz. I have learned so much about photography, decorating, etc. with the big world of internet sharing. My perfect evening is sitting in the living room with my iPad reading my news feed in Feedly. Your blog is just lovely and I always look forward to reading it!

  4. Lisa Favre

    These sounds like such great, realistic goals that not only cater to a more healthy lifestyle (for your personal side) but also, a fantastic business plan (for your blog’s side). Good luck to you, but I have no doubt that you will do awesome considering how good of a job you did in outlining your successes and opportunities!


    1. bakedbree

      Thank you Lisa! I do a lot better when I have some clear goals for the year. Happy 2016!

  5. Samantha @ WhatsUpUSANA

    Great post! It’s always a good reminder to get out of the house and get some fresh air. I signed up for some community education courses (they’re typically cheaper – maybe $35-$45 for a 3 month course). It’s been a great way for me to get out and get a new circle of friends. 🙂

    1. bakedbree

      Yes! That is a great way to get out and meet new people. I’ve made such good friends doing that .

  6. Alyssa

    Hi Bree! Great post – I love these goals!!! One of mine was to start using 1SE, and adore your videos. Do you mind telling me what video camera you use?


    1. bakedbree

      I use my phone, but I bought a Canon g7x this week and will start to use that too.

  7. lisa

    When your email comes through, I flag it for a time when I can sit back and inhale your ideas, photographs and in this post especially your 2016 Goals…It’s like sharing tea with a friend who is thoughtful, creative, generous and kind. Thank you for all of it…It is nice to share time with you and reflect upon the many ideas you stir up in my mind….
    Here is to 2016 and being mindful…
    Kindest regards,

    1. bakedbree

      This is the sweetest comment ever, thank you so much. Happy 2016.

  8. Jessica

    So much of this post spoke to my soul! I have been trying SO hard to eat super clean all month and I have tripped and fell so many times that I have almost given up. I work in nutrition and have a degree in the field…but I also went to culinary school and absolutely love to make amazing food that tastes amazing. I love baking with my kids and I know that, like you, sugar will always have a place in my life. I’m finding a better balance and realizing now that when I have a craving…or feel like snacking that I’m not always hungry and I can stratify the craving with something besides a treat. Anyway a, just wanted to say I get where you are coming from. Sometimes it just takes time to retrain ourselves, our minds, body’s and spirits. Thanks for all of your goodness. I love your posts. It has been too long since I have been on here to “visit” you.

    1. bakedbree

      Thank you Jessica! It is so hard, especially when you are surrounded by food all day. It’s about finding a balance. And I also think not writing off things as “bad’. Life is too short to not have a cupcake or a glass of wine.

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